Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto was an Italian Renaissance man born 250 years too late. He was an engineer, an industrialist, a philosopher, a sociologist and best known as the first modern economist. He is the one who noticed the 80-20 rule. The Pareto Principle.
It would be hard to find someone who has not heard of Pareto. 20% of the effort gets 80% of the results. Focus on key customers, key markets, key products, key processes, key investments.
Focus will make you rich.
Might be true, but all that focus causes you to miss another important aspect of the principle.
The Pareto Principle is a power law. That means that you can go further. If 80% results from 20% of the effort, then 80% of the 80% resulted from 20% of 20% of the effort. The 64-4 result. The third is 51.2% of the results for 0.8% of the effort. More follow but the point is clear. There are only a few things that really matter.
51% of the result for 1% of the effort is a nice deal, but, there is a lot of clutter to toss before you can see it.
You start by thinking about where the 1% may or may not be.
It won’t be in filling out forms for the government or collecting receivables. Planning a better parking lot, signing cheques, or counting inventory won’t help much either.
Cost analysis, automation, engineering and marketing are worth looking at, but might not include the 1%.
The 1% most probably is in freeing time to do only those things that you are the best at doing. It is not enough that you are the best compared to others, it must be your personal best best.
You might be the best salesman in the room but you are that only by a narrow margin. You may be the best customer relations person or the best inventor or the best leader by a much wider margin. Let the others carry the ball where they can do nearly as good a job, even if it takes two of them, and spend your time on the things that may include the 1%
Sweet reward here! Employees will like it and do better than before.
People who have searched for the 1% found important things:
Looking for the 1% works. No one ever finds it, but finding a little of it is a big win.